The History and Growth of Spotify

Spotify is a media service and streaming provider that is based in Sweden. This company was started in 2006 by Daniel E K. Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Spotify has offices in 17 other different countries around the world. So, how does this service work? Who streams music using this platform and how does one gain access to the service? Well, Spotify has over 345 million users around the world, as of December 2020. There are around 155 million active paid subscriptions for streaming music on this platform. Some people subscribe to the Spotify personal user account and businesses subscribe to what is known as a Spotify business account. As for the artists and those who stream music through Spotify, they can use Spotiflex to help them grow their Spotify fan base. This is a good way to increase your music streams and bring you a better income from Spotify accounts.

Who uses Spotify?

Spotify is used by people of all ages. However, adults between the ages of 18 and 29 years are the most common users of this music streaming platform. 21% of these users have confessed to using the streaming service several times a day. There is another statistic about the use of Spotify that you could be interested to know, just to show the growth of this platform. This is according to the Business of Apps Website. Here are such statistics:

  • As of the 4th quarter of 2020, there are 345 Million users of the service. The paying subscribers are 155 million.
  • Europe has the largest number of users with 121 million, followed by North America with 83 million users. Latin America had 76 million users and the rest of the world accounted for 66 million users.
  • Of the subscribers, Europe had 62 million, North America had 45 million while Latin America had 33 million users. The rest of the world accounted for 17 million users.
  • Of the Spotify users in the United States, 55% of these are aged below 35 years.
  • In Europe, the average daily listening time is 99 minutes while in North America, the average listening time is 140 minutes per listener.
  • According to Spotify, there are over 70 million songs on the platform. Songs are added at a rate of 60, 000 per day.
  • As of February 2021, “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran is the most played song with more than 2.7 billion plays.

Early international launches

As with international growth, the company started expanding internationally with a public registration in the UK in February 2009.  The free service registration surged after the mobile service was launched. Registration was however halted in September and the service was made an invitation-only-service for the UK.

The service launched in the United States in July 2011 and was offered as a 6-month trial period for free. The free trial started to end in 2012 and users were limited to only 10 hours of streaming per month.

On 14th November 2018, Spotify announced the expansion in a total of 13 new countries in the Middle East and North African region. A new Arabic hub is created and several playlists and announcements. Their apps can now support the right to left text, suitable for Arabic.

User growth

Spotify had 1 million paying users in Europe in March 2011. This number doubled in September 2011. In 2015, the company had a total of 15 million users. By December 2012, the total number of users had risen to 20 million globally. In April 2020, Spotify had a total user growth of 133Million paying customers. The growth had gone down in countries affected by the pandemic, but the numbers have recovered.

Initial public offering

The company made a debut on the NYSE in April 2018. The shares opened at $165.90, which was 25% more than the reference price of $132. The company attracted a lot of interest and what is known as a direct listing on the stock exchange. There was no lock-up period for the shares and even staff were able to sell their shares immediately.


The company acquired the Tunigo music discovery app in May 2013. It also acquired The Echo Nest in March 2014. A data science consulting firm by the name of Seed was acquired by Spotify in June 2015. Other companies or apps acquired by Spotify include Cord Project, Soundwave, Preact, Sonalytic, MightyTV, and so on. These acquisitions have helped grow the technology of the company and definitely, have helped in increasing the number of users.

So, having said the above about the history of Spotify, what are some of the strategies that have led to the growth of the company?

What are some of Spotify’s growth levers?

Spotify uses a model of ad-based business and allows paid subscribers as well as free users.

Their expansion into Asia is another positive thing for the company. The company has already launched some 5 markets in Asia and plans to expand into more territories.

Spotify’s acquisitions have had a positive impact on the company’s growth. This has improved user experience and as such, the users do not have to find streaming services elsewhere.

The company has had good brand name partnerships that have made it possible for the company to scale its expansion. The company has partnered with technology leaders such as Android TV, Amazon Echo among others. This means more Spotify users can enjoy the music streams using various formats.

Should you pay for Spotify?

Many people are not sure whether to pay for Spotify or whether to just use the free version. Well, here are some things that may attract you in Spotify premium:

You need not rely on shuffle-only mode. With Premium Spotify, you can play any song that you desire.

Unlimited skips. This means you can skip as many songs as you want until you find what you desire to play.

You can double the bit rate for clearer listening. With Spotify premium, you can listen to your favorite songs with up to 320 Kbps bit rate.

You can listen even when you are offline. Spotify premium allows you to download up to 10,000 songs so that you can enjoy your music even when you are not connected to the internet.